Shortlist announced for £25,000 prize for global cultural understanding

News - Prizes Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Six titles in the running for Nayef Al-Rodhan Prize for Global Cultural Understanding 2018

The shortlist for The Nayef Al-Rodhan Prize for Global Cultural Understanding 2018, the British Academy’s international book prize, was announced this morning.

Worth £25,000, 'the Prize rewards and celebrates the best works of non-fiction that have contributed to global cultural understanding and illuminate the interconnections and divisions that shape cultural identity worldwide', according to organisers.

The full shortlist, including author nationalisty, is:

The Islamic Enlightenment: The Modern Struggle Between Faith and Reason by Christopher de Bellaigue (UK) (The Bodley Head)
Al-Britannia: A Journey Through Muslim Britain by James Fergusson (UK) (Bantam Press)
Border: A Journey to the Edge of Europe by Kapka Kassabova (Bulgaria) (Granta Books)
Black Tudors: The Untold Story by Miranda Kaufmann (UK) (Oneworld)
I Was Told to Come Alone: My Journey Behind the Lines of Jihad by Souad Mekhennet (Germany)(Virago)
Tears of Rangi: Experiments Across Worlds by Dame Anne Salmond (New Zealand) (Auckland University Press)

Chair of judges Professor Ash Amin, the Foreign Secretary of the British Academy, said: "All of these fine books display an appetite for both research and original thinking that sets them apart in the rapidly changing, and often shallow, information world of today. Here, the truth counts, as does the commitment to delve deep into the making of cultural identities, affiliations, and connections. This prize is awarded for global cultural understanding, and that is precisely what all of these books deliver.

"In these difficult times it is important to be reminded of the ties that bind us, whoever and wherever we are. The books shortlisted for this prize do just that, and magnificently."

The prize was first awarded in 2013. This is the first year that a shortlist has been introduced. The last three winners were Timothy Garton Ash for Free Speech (2017), Professor Carole Hillenbrand for Islam: A New Historical Introduction (2016), and Dr Neil MacGregor for A History of the World in 100 Objects and Germany: Memories of a Nation (2015).

The winner will be announced at an evening ceremony at the British Academy on 30 October.

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